The Lionello Bonfanti Industrial Park "meets" Adriano Olivetti

At Polo Lionello, the first meeting of the "Adrianolivettiannouno" series

The Lionello Bonfanti Industrial Park "meets" Adriano Olivetti

By Lucia Zorzi

Loppiano - It sometimes happens that a meeting leaves a mark. Yesterday afternoon, the Lionello Bonfanti Industrial Park hosted one of these rare meetings. Economist Luigino Bruni introduced the discussion on "The Idea of Community in Business Behavior", tracing the convergence and divergence between Adriano Olivetti´s thought (this year is the 500th anniversary of his death) and the reality of businesses of communion attested to by the Polo Lionello Bonfanti of Loppiano, home of the Economy of Communion. 

The meeting was proposed by the Vita Eudaimonica Association and by its president, the philosopher Alberto Peretti, scholar and expert of Olivettian thought. It included entrepreneurs, workers of the Polo and the students of Sophia University Institute of Loppiano.

Key concepts of Olivettian thought were illustrated during the meeting. Adrian Olivetti was an illuminated entrepreneur who had very useful ideas for the economy, despite the fact that the market was in crisis during his time. Professor Peretti

highlighted how the industrial park and the businesses there that depend on the Economy of Communion are leaders for the economy of the future - one capable of founding itself on an idea of life worthy of being lived, where work is the chance to make profit but also the motor of a more deserving world. What is needed is to introduce new energy into the market, and this comes from grafting the logic of gift, of gratuitousness, into it. It deals with fulfilling a search to give man and his works the harmony these have lost. Contributing to the perfection of the world, a business that believes in these values obtains and has at its disposition a value that is intangible and at the same time very concrete, and profits do not delay in arriving. As the professional parable of Ivrean entrepreneur shows (a business that has reached more than 36,000 employees, with branches throughout the world), working against alienation and parceling out of man - it always pays. "Doing business means being touched by what you do," said Peretti to attendees. "In short, we can change the world with our businesses."

Authenticity is required by both entrepreneur and his idea of business, and spiritual forces must also have a role. Therefore, Olivettian thought launches a challenge that ought to be taken up to verify its applicability and possibility for improvement, even during the current world recession.

Bruni highlighted the attitude to build a community on which the Economy of Communion is based, as well as the importance given to some of the fundamental values held by the  businesses that adhere to the project in Incisa Val D´Arno:love of beauty (which is also a way to love); the vocation to be an entrepreneur (and not only a speculator concerned about profit); the capacity to conceive a business project where the search for happiness plays a very important role; feeling part of a bigger community that can change one´s own city, with the conviction (also held by Chiara Lubich) that one city is not enough. The whole world will change thanks to us, if we have the courage to think big and try to satisfy people´s needs with honesty and authenticity. 

One of the first businesses to settle in the Polo in Incisa Val D´Arno, Arcobaleno, shared its experience, underlining the importance of sharing needs in times of crisis. The entrepreneur is like an artist which builds his business every day, who always remember that the person must be center of all activity. Living within this type of economy gives deep joy, where - when it is possible - part of the profits are given to society´s weaker subjects. At the conclusion of the meeting, Cittá Nuova´s book, "Utopia in Action" by Isaline Bourgenot Dutru was presented to all. 

The series of meetings based on the ideas of Adriano Olivetti, promoted by the Vita Eudaimonica Association will continue on September 22 in Parma, on October 21 in Como, on October 26 in Milan. The series then continues in November in Rome and Vicenza and will conclude in Ivrea in December.

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